Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is a manufacturing process that for decades has been used successfully by manufacturers around the world to increase productivity. HIP is used to eliminate pores and remove casting defects, i.e. oxides and carbides, to dramatically increase the material properties.
What is Hot Isostatic Pressing?
Materials formed from casting or additive methods such as 3D printing contain porosities or micro cavities. These porosities must be reduced to eliminate the risk of premature breakage this is usually done in two steps:
Firstly heat is applied under pressure in a hip process which reduces porosities and cavities.
Secondly the material is heat treated in a process where rapid cooling improves the fatigue and ductile properties. It would be a big advantage if these processes could be combined to save energy and increase productivity, but combining quick cooling with high pressure places stringent demands on the pressurized furnace. The vessel needs to be robust enough to withstand the high pressure while also being cooled quickly from outside.
By adding a wire package to the outside of the vessel, both can be achieved. The wire package allows the inner wall to be thinner for quicker cooling with maintain structural integrity of the pressure vessel. The thinner wall enables a unique heat exchange system which makes it possible to cool down the load quickly and meet the requirements of the heat treatment process. This means that the HIP process and the heat treatment can be run at the same time, in the same vessel, saving time and energy.